The city of Peoria is in the final stages of changing fees associated with its development impact fee ordinance.
On June 18 city council held a public hearing on the proposed changes, which are slated for formal adoption August 13 and, if approved, will take effect October 28.
Last time the ordinance was updated, now more than five years ago, the city conducted a comprehensive update, according to Deputy City Manager Katie Gregory.
This time, however, the city plans to readopt the ordinance as is, only changing the associated fees.
Some fees will increase, while others will decrease, depending on the service area.
“In general, we’re talking about a $1,700 to about a $2,400 difference in fees from where they were in the 2014 study,” Gregory said June 18, looking over the proposed single-family residential fees.
“In that time, we’ve seen some cost increases; we’ve seen some changes; particularly, in this case, a lot of changes on the water and wastewater side, in terms of the cost to develop on that side.”
A document containing all fees, organized by service area, can be found on the city’s website.
“A lot of these things that you see when we’re calculating fees (are) based on a lot of the inputs that we have at a point in time,” Gregory explained. “Things do change over time. We recognize that. This is not unusual for an impact fee update, especially one that’s been 5, 5 and a half years.”
According to the agenda for the public hearing, development impact fees help pay for one-time capital infrastructure costs of new developments. Fees are collected for government projects like parks, transportation, police, fire and libraries, as well as utilities like water, wastewater and water resources. Fees are assessed at the time of building permit.
To calculate the new impact fees, the city conducted various analyses.
“When you do an impact fee study, there’s some lengthy and sort of complex pieces that you have to kind of all put together,” Gregory explained.
First, she said, the city looks at growth projections by land use, studying Maricopa Association of Governments data, consensus forecasts, Census data and Peoria’s growth.
City staff also looks at capital needs of the city, or how the city’s growth can best be served.
“We look at all of those projects, whether they’re streets, parks, public service facilities, whether they’re going to be water, wastewater, infrastructure, all of those types of things,” she said.
“It’s not necessarily what we have in our CIP (capital improvement plan), but many of our CIP projects are included in there.”
Using natural boundaries, the city also looks at service areas for each fee category.
“When you put (all those studies) together and you form a fee calculation, you come up with the fee levels,” Gregory explained.
“That’s basically the proportionate share that each new unit of development, whether it’s residential or nonresidential, needs to pay in order to help pay and offset some of the costs of that capital infrastructure.”
Utility and non-utility impact fee studies were approved by council in April.
The city will continue to follow the model city ordinance, SB 1525, put forth by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
“It’s intent was really to try to get that consistency across the board for all of the cities, so when a developer moves from Peoria to Scottsdale to Surprise to wherever, they all kind of are working within the same playing field and understand the provisions and the administration of it,” Gregory explained.
For more information, and to view a comprehensive document containing proposed fees for all services areas, visit https://peoriaaz.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=3985&MeetingID=432.